Joshimath: Survey Confirms Worst Fears, Sinking Caused by Underground Vacuum

"Water coming from underground is dangerous as it's creating a vacuum, causing sinking," said an official.

Climate Change
2 min read
Hindi Female

On the morning of 3 January, miniscule cracks in roadways had increased in size, and approximately 561 buildings had cracks in their walls and floors, and the ground could be seen breaking apart in agricultural fields in Uttarakhand's Joshimath.

CM Pushkar Dhami assured the people that their safety is his utmost priority and he will be holding a meeting with high-level officers and visiting Joshimath on Saturday.

Residents have already been evacuated from the town and a team of disaster management experts was sent to conduct a survey of the area, including the Disaster Management Secretary, Ranjit Sinha. The team will also visit all affected areas and meet the people whose properties have been damaged.

"We conducted a survey where new cracks have developed, some hotels have tilted, new water sources have emerged in some places."
Ranjit Sinha, Secretary of Disaster Management, told ANI.

Construction Projects Halted

A team of experts was sent to Joshimath to conduct a survey to inspect the affected areas. This team also included disaster management secretary, Ranjit Sinha and Garhwal Division Commissioner, Sushil Kumar.

The survey concluded that the situation in Joshimath was dangerous due to new water leaks in the ground and the fact that many of the buildings had tilted.

"Water coming from underground is dangerous as it's creating a vacuum, causing sinking. We've to evacuate and relocate those affected. We've to regulate and make stringent building bylaws. We'll issue a government order on what kind of housing structures should be constructed here."
Ranjit Sinha, Secretary, Disaster Management in Interview with ANI
In the wake of this disaster, construction on projects including the widening of the all-weather Char Dham road between Helang and Marwari and work in the National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC) Tapovan-Vishnugad 520 MW hydropower project have been immediately halted "until further orders".

This order was given by the Chamoli district administration on 5 January. This was done in compliance with sections 33 and 34 of the Disaster Management Act.

After seeing cracked roads and houses, residents from Joshimath headed towards Dehradun, the state capital, to demand action from Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. Torchlight processions were also carried out by panic-struck citizens.

In the wake of these protests, CM Pushkar Singh Dhami assured the people that the safety of the residents was their utmost priority.

He told the media that he will be meeting with all high-level officials in Dehradun to address the issue of landslides in Joshimath on 6 January, 2023.

"I will hold a high-level meeting with top officials this evening regarding landslides in Joshimath and cracks in houses."
Pushkar Singh Dhami, Chief Minister, Uttarakhand in Interview with ANI.

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Topics:  Climate Change   Disaster   Uttarakhand 

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